Living in a house divided on game day

2012-03-30T21:30:00Z Living in a house divided on game dayMARLA TONCRAY marla.toncray@lee.net Ledger Independent
March 30, 2012 9:30 pm  • 

You've seen the license plates or the banners hanging on the front porch that proclaim this family is a "House Divided" when it comes to their favorite sports team.

Well, meet two families who are divided over who will win today's NCAA Final Four basketball game between the University of Kentucky Wildcats and University of Louisville Cardinals.

Anna and Damon Turner have been married for 14 years. He's for Louisville; she's for UK.  He works at Comprehend and she works at Mitsubishi Electric.

Now meet Bonnie and Gene Boulden who have been married 42 years. He's for UK; she's for Louisville.  She works for the Mason County School District and he works for Ozark Contracting at International Paper (Temple-Inland).

The catch is that this is not only two couples divided, but in-laws divided.

Gene and Anna (UK) are brother and sister.  Bonnie and Damon (Louisville) are the in-laws.

Gene and Anna grew up in May's Lick; Damon grew up in Louisville; and while Bonnie grew up in May's Lick, she visited Louisville for 25 years when her father lived there because of his job.

Damon said to keep marital harmony in the household, he'll go home to Louisville for today's game; Anna said that's fine with her.

Gene has to work Saturday at his job and won't get to watch the game.  Bonnie said that's probably a good thing because her brother Rodney will probably be at the house, cheering for Louisville also.  However, Gene won't be left totally in the dark with the status of the game, he said Bonnie usually calls him with updates and he knows he'll get a call if the Cardinals win.

"I've always been a diehard Wildcat fan, especially once Darius went there," Gene said of his team allegiance.

Bonnie said she has been more willing to watch the UK games now that Darius Miller plays for the Wildcats, but even that hasn't swayed her from her Cardinal loyalty.

"I like it when I'm by myself to watch the games, I get into it," Bonnie said.  "I think Louisville is gonna give them a run for it."

She also said she doesn't like to watch the games with sister-in-law Anna because "she screams all through it."

Gene says his prediction is UK by 10 points.

Anna said if it comes down that Louisville wins by "some chance," she will root for them in the championship game, but she also said she believes this is the year UK will "win it all."

"Kentucky fans, we bleed blue no matter what," Anna said of the Big Blue Nation's loyalty to the Cats.

Damon said he believes Louisville is on a "redemption tour" during the NCAA tourney, beating those teams that beat them earlier in the season and UK is next on the list.

But Damon also has another message for fans of both teams and Anna, Bonnie and Gene agree with him. No matter which team wins, it's good for Kentucky.

"I hope everyone in the state realizes how unique this is, you think of North Carolina with Duke and UNC having teams this far, but not Kentucky.  It's an opportunity for the commonwealth to shine," said Damon.  "People forget we have nine national titles here in Kentucky; two of the top 10 teams of all time ... I think Louisville and Kentucky are the heavy weights in basketball."

And while Damon sings the praises of both team's traditions and accomplishments, Anna gets a good-natured dig in on what his nickname is for Rupp Arena: Corrupt Arena. 

"Only bad calls can occur in Rupp Arena, they're tilted toward the Blue," he said with a laugh.

Damon agrees with Bonnie about Anna's team spirit, saying his wife is "very animated" during UK games and that he sits across the room from her and tries not to make comments.

With all the good-natured joking and ribbing about which team will win and advance to the championship, both couples also said it's important to remember it's just a basketball game and they will be satisfied with the outcome.

"I think people should take it for what it is and be happy, a Kentucky team will be playing for the national championship," said Damon.

Damon said he's glad he'll be home in Louisville to watch the game because "if we win, I want to be there for the party and if we lose, I want my mom to be there to comfort me."

Anna had a different perspective on the day.

"I'm sure I'll be the one smiling in the end," she said.

Copyright 2015 Ledger Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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